Record abortion rates amongst young women in England and Wales
16 April 2019
Official data highlighted by media platforms this week has shown a tragic rise in abortion rates amongst young women in England and Wales. Figures published by the Office for National statistics (ONS), after data updates this month, revealed that in 2017, 33.2% of unborn babies conceived by women aged 20 to 24 were killed by abortion.
Additionally, the data goes on to report a record rise in the number of abortions for women aged between 16 and 34 since 1990 amongst other tragic findings.
Key findings of the report reveal that in 2017:
- The total amount abortions being performed in England and Wales have increased. In 2017, 197,533 abortions were performed. This is an increase of 4% since 2016 and the highest level on record since 2008.
- The abortion rate in 2017 was highest for women at the age of 20 at 29.1 per 1,000 women.
- Abortion rates have been increasing for women aged 30 and over.
- The rates for women aged 30-34 have increased steadily from 15.1 per 1,000 women in 2007 to 18.5 in 2017.
- The abortion rates for women aged 35 and over have also increased from 6.9 per 1,000 women in 2007 to 8.6 per 1,000 women in 2017.
- For women over the age of 25, abortion rates have seen marginal increases in recent years.
- 38% of women who had an abortion had one or more previous abortions. This has increased 6% since 2007.
Reasons for the rise
The specific reasons as to why these abortions are being committed is not reported in the data. However, it can be revealed that in 2017, 98% of abortions were carried out under Ground C (social reasons) and 3,314 unborn babies were aborted for possessing a possible disability (Ground E). Under current law the doctor performing the abortion does not need to disclose or provide evidence to the parents as to what the possible foetal disability may be.
It was reported last month by the Telegraph however, that Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price told a conference that the increased use of dating apps such as Tinder are fuelling the rise of unplanned pregnancies amongst young women, referring to them as the ‘Tinder generation.’
During a conference of the All Party Parliamentary Group on women’s health Ms Doyle-Price said: “We are laughing and talking about the Tinder generation now, but what tends to happen is you have women leaving one relationship and then playing the field again, entering the market again. That’s actually when unplanned pregnancy tends to happen.”
SPUC Parliamentary Director Michael Robinson said: “We understand that so often women or very young girls, are in a genuine panic when they find that they are pregnant. But we know that abortion is never the right choice.”
He continued: “Pregnant women need support and care, but society often sees abortion as a quick and easy fix and so many pressures force women towards a tragic choice that is not really theirs. These rising figures are a reflection of that tragedy.”
Abortion figures for 2018 in the United Kingdom are expected to be released in the upcoming months.